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European Policy
Data Science
Network

About us

We are convinced that data science will be an essential tool for understanding and supporting policy making in the 21st century. While the private sector is increasingly investing in data science capabilities, governments, think tanks and NGOs are only now starting to discover these tools. They lack best practices, training and a community for data scientists working on policy issues.

We have founded the European Policy Data Science Network to fill this gap in Europe. Our network brings together data-driven researchers from European think tanks and NGOs supporting and researching public policy.  

We organise regular meetings to: 
Exchange best practices  
Organise trainings  
Promote the use of data science 
Build a community for mutual support  

The network is organized by Agora Digitale Transformation gGmbH (Berlin) and Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (Berlin) together with members from diverse backgrounds, working for a wide range of organisations. If you are applying data science methods to policy issues in a think tank, public institution or NGO, contact us! Whether you are an experienced programmer or are just getting started, we would love to hear from you and integrate you into our network. 

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Our activities

Exchange
best practices

Each member has gathered valuable experience on different challenges, from choosing appropriate methods, organising data science workflows, to building up data science teams. We learn from each other’s successes and mistakes.

Organise
trainings

There are many ingredients for a successful data science project which most people do not learn at university. We organise trainings to learn more about relevant methods, from web scraping to version control, from data visualisation to legal issues. 

Promote
data science

Many organisations are unaware of the value data science could add for them. We promote a realistic understanding of the benefits and shortcomings of data science tools.

Build
a community

We are building a community of like-minded people interested in data and political issues. Our Slack channel provides a platform to exchange ideas, find cooperation partners and ask for help.

Block
Past meetings
Kick off meeting
21.01.2021

Discussion of the main goals of the network, followed by a presentation of an analysis of 140 000 EU laws by CEPS.

Project pitches
26.02.2021

Each member presented and discussed key data science projects and lessons they have learned.

Organisational structures
09.04.2021

Each member presented and discussed how data science work is structured in their organisation.

Data science workflows
27.05.2021

Ilja Sperling provided a training on data science workflows from web scraping, data preparation, automatic updates to visualisation.

Data visualisation
06.08.2021

Several members presented data visualisation projects and the pros/cons of tools like Flourish, Plotly, Dash and AWS.

Lessons from the USA
03.11.2021

Alex Engler (Brookings Institution) presented example projects and best practices for policy data science in the USA.

Git(Hub)
10.03.2022

Anna Semenova (SNV) provided an introduction to Git and the importance of version control.

CSET Case Study
09.06.2022

The Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) presents their Emerging Technology Observatory (ETO).

Network Get-To-Know Session
22.09.2022

As several new members joined over the past months, we organised a get-to-know session with several group discussions.

Automating Job Market Analyses
30.11.2022

Johannes Müller (&effect) presented their jobmonitor.de and lessons from founding a data science start-up for the public/social sector.

Large Language Models
09.03.23

Moritz Laurer gave an introduction to LLMs, their capabilities, limitations and concrete use-cases.

Ministerial Data Labs
07.07.23

Annina Hittmeyer and Maita Schade provided an overview of the German ministerial Data Labs.

Scottish Parliament
29.09.2023

Andrew Aiton gave an overview of concrete use-cases and challenges for data science in the Scottish Parliament.

European Parliament
09.04.2023

Marco Scipioni provided insights into the work of data scientists in the European Parliament, e.g. the challenges of analyzing co-voting data.

Members work at the following institutions

Contact us

If you want to learn more about our activities or join the network, do not hesitate to contact us. Our members are individuals working with data science methods in think tanks, public institutions and NGOs. Whether you are just starting to collect, analyse or visualise data, or you are already more experienced, we look forward to hearing from you.

contact@policydatascientists.eu

Vivien Benert
Agora Digitale Transformation
Project E-Valuate

Paul Bochtler
Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik

Andrea Grillandi
Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik